When Nike started using the expression “Just Do It’ as their slogan, I was already a Swoosh convert. Nevertheless, the advertisements really resonated with me because until recently, I have never been a “Just Do It” person. It wasn’t so much the feeling that I could put it off until tomorrow that was the issue, it was more the feeling of “Just Don’t It Because [insert myriad of reasons here]”. I’d like to think that my thinking was because risk analysis and mitigation are part of my profession and sometimes it’s hard to turn off the attributes on which you rely 40+ hours a week. However, I’m not going to let myself off the hook that easily.
About four or so years ago something changed in outlook and my default position went from “Why Do It?” to “Why Not Do It?”. Perhaps it was the feeling of time passing by or that I finally found where my confidence resided. Now I’m determined to have more JDI moments as I call them. This is not to say that those JDI moments need to be inherently physically risky – I have no desire to try extreme bubblegum blowing, bungy jumping or extreme extremism – but living a totally safe and comfortable life is no longer for me. Not at the moment, anyway.
Is this what it means to have a midlife crisis?
I’m not sure about the answer to that question, but if a crisis is what it takes to move away from the paralysis of analysis and by default adopting the negative position for more abundant caution then I say bring it on. Don’t get me wong, I’m certainly appreciative of the ability to reason and think things through with which I was bestowed. It’s just that the calibration of that ability sometimes requires adjustment.
Some people want to go through life knowing they always pursued the smartest course. Bested by none, never being ripped off, never stumbling and duly diligent. If that’s what works for you, then wonderful. From my observations though, it is those who are fleet of foot and less concerned about examining every facet of every consequence that inherit the earth. True it is, they might not get it right every time and let’s face it we all have to live with the consequences of our decisions, but how many of us close ourselves off because we simply don’t contemplate applying the JDI philosophy at times? I shudder to think how many opportunities have passed me by, because I was unwilling to take a small risk.
Now kids, I’m not advocating that you start taking huge risks and please don’t try that at home. More a balancing of our adult intellect with the childlike quality of wonder and amusement. Sometimes we need to heed that child voice and tell the adult one that things will be OK or that if not, both the adult and the child can handle what is likely to come. There will also always be washing to do, a house which needs cleaning, a drive that is just that bit too far away or an expectation of another person to be met. There won’t always be tomorrow, a better time or another opportunity. As they say, there is no someday in the week, only Monday through to Sunday.
Just like there is glass half full thinking, so too there is JDI thinking.
May we all open ourselves to a world of opportunity and in some small way, the concept of JDI thinking.
Today I give myself permission to just do it!